Minneapolis, Minnesota is one of four finalists to host the 2024 U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials, Minnesota Swimming Inc. announced on its Facebook page Monday.
If Minneapolis were to win the bid, the event would be hosted at U.S. Bank Stadium, home of the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings, which has a maximum seating capacity of 73,000. Details about how the stadium would be configured for the meet have not yet been revealed, though it’s likely that the capacity would be reduced for the event.
Congratulations to the Minnesota Swimming LSC and Minnesota Sports and Events (MNSE) on their bid reaching “FINALIST”…
The finalist announcement is the first public news of Minneapolis having put forth a bid to host. Back in August, SwimSwam announced that seven cities were officially in the running, with Indianapolis, San Antonio, and St. Louis the only three to do so publicly.
The Minneapolis bid was submitted by the MNSE (Minnesota Sports and Events), which previously successfully bid to host world-class events such as Super Bowl LII, the 2019 NCAA Men’s Basketball Final Four, and the X Games.
The last three Olympic Trials meets have taken place in Omaha, Nebraska, beginning in 2008, and will return to the CHI Health Center Omaha for the 2021 Trials next summer. Omaha is expected to be among the three remaining cities who have made a bid but have not gone public.
In a letter from Bob Crunstedt, the executive director of Minnesota Swimming Inc., he shares USA Swimming’s vision to greatly expand the Trials in 2024 compared to what we’ve seen in years past.
“USA Swimming is seeking to take the 2024 Trials to the next level, above an arena setting, and every aspect of the MNSE bid presents amazing new opportunities for the swimmers, coaches, and fans,” the letter says. “Feedback says U.S. Bank Stadium, the surrounding venues, lodging, and amenities
make for a very strong bid.”
Indianapolis has hosted the Trials six times, most recently in 2000. Rather than host at the IUPUI Natatorium, where they’ve traditionally held it, they’re proposing to do it at Lucas Oil Stadium, home of the Indianapolis Colts, which falls in line with USA Swimming’s vision. San Antonio (64,000) and St. Louis (82,000) also are proposing high-capacity arenas to host the event, significantly higher than the capacity in Omaha (17,560).
The three other finalists have not been announced as of yet.
An official decision on the host of the 2024 U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials is expected to come by February 2021.